Artful Dodgers: The role of unreliable narrators in the production of authorized histories and assessments of young people in conflict with the law

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    Abstract

    This article argues that pre-sentence reports for youth courts are coauthored by at least two unreliable narrators: the defendant and the youth justice worker. The production of an objective professional assessment for sentencing purposes is therefore a convenient fiction in which key 10 actors collude. Such reports do not only seek to provide narrative explanations of past actions, but also shape future sentencing decisions and other outcomes that can either be helpful or harmful to service users. Full case files, meanwhile, contain documents that reveal less orderly and more challenging narratives from the margins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1042-1058
    Number of pages17
    JournalDeviant Behavior
    Volume38
    Issue number9
    Early online date10 Oct 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • pre-sentence reports
    • PSRs
    • youth justice
    • social work

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